Ahh it’s a new year, and it’s time to get some paintball on. After a couple of crazy weeks at work, consisting of large roll outs, excructiating QA sessions _of course any QA with “a certain geek we all know”:http://blog.josephhall.com is excrutiating_ I was ready for some serious action. And thus we came to “Desert Edge’s”:http://www.teamdesertedge.com first woodsball practice of the season.
Now, One of the *most* important pieces of equipment a person has in paintball is their mask. The mask keeps your eyes safe, and you must keep it on at all times on the field. Paintball masks are a special kind of goggle, made to handle high-velocity impacts, and many of them.
My first mask was an early model made by JT. It was one of the earlier masks created specifically for paintball, instead of being just a slightly enhanced motocross mask. It featured a small amount of mouth protection, no neck, chin, ear or other protection however.
Through the years I’ve gone through several different masks, featuring many different things that I have liked. Different colored lenses, flexibility, visible range, and amount covered.
!>http://paintball.shopbrno.cz/zbozi-fotky/new_i3_green.jpg (Dye I3 Pro Olive) 240×240!
So, for the new year, it was time to get a new mask. My last set (JT Flex 7’s) were extremely comfortable, but after a couple of seasons of hard work, need to be replaced. Enter my new Dye I3 Pro. These are the latest in the Invision line which has a long history of being some of the better masks on the market. I have to say, these really are worth it. These are some of the most comfortable goggles I’ve worn. The new ear pads relieve a lot of pressure that more fixed masks cause, but it doesn’t suffer from the warping that my Flex 7 had.
This weekend was the perfect test for my new goggles. Lots of running in the snow would knock most masks out of commission. The new lenses are a single-pane thermal type that was first featured in the V-Force Profiler’s, and worked as good or better than any other thermal mask I’ve ever had. The default tint level kept out the worst of the snow glare without making it difficult to find people hiding under the juniper trees that dot our field.
After the game, cleanup was a breeze (yeah, I took a nice shot to the head), and I didn’t have to worry about getting liquid between the panes of my normal thermal goggles.
This mask is excellent. It is lighter than most any previous one I’ve had. The profile view is much smaller, making me a smaller target on the field. The field of view is incredible! This is definitely a mask made for an advanced user, especially with an average price of $100 to $120. But if you are a serious player, it’s a worthwhile investment.